VisitAberdeenshire’s drive to turn the north-east’s tourism sector into a £1 billion industry is paying off as new figures show the impact the body is making on the region.
According to new statistics, derived using an evaluation model based on that used by VisitBritain and Visit Jersey, since April last year there have been 34 bids for new business events.
This equates to around £30.5 million-worth of business and with the potential to realise 104,410 bed nights as a direct result of the work submitted by VisitAberdeenshire, P&J Live and Aberdeen University.
The tourism body has also undertaken several conversion surveys to identify the impact of leisure consumer campaigns and the return on investment they have achieved.
According to the figures, VisitAberdeenshire’s campaign with Mackie’s of Scotland had a direct return on its own investment of 8:1; the summer campaign had a direct return of 7:1 and the autumn campaign had a direct return of 6:1.
In terms of the travel trade. it is estimated the attributable results from VisitAberdeenshire’s interventions resulted in 10,130 bed nights estimating the value to local businesses at around £1.18m.
Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “Other insights tell us that sightseeing is no longer enough as visitors seek to immerse themselves in destination experiences.
“This year will be full of great events.
“We’ll see the return of the Spectra light festival and Granite Noir in February and the Aberdeen Jazz Festival in March.
“The hugely-successful Nuart Aberdeen will be spreading colour throughout the city in April before a summer of festivals, Highland games and local shows appeal to national and international visitors alike. Autumn will be heralded by the arrival of the Tour of Britain – the UK’s largest cycle race – speeding through Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in September.”
Opening of P&J Live among key events in north-east’s renaissance
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire experienced a renaissance as a visitor destination in 2019, thanks to the opening of new and revitalised facilities.
One of the game-changing moments of the year was the opening of P&J Live.
Securing BBC Sports Personality of the Year event was a real feather-in-the-cap moment – we should be proud of the way Aberdeen welcomed the event and the great images that reached 8.6 million viewers across the UK.
Beyond entertainment, Aberdeen Convention and Events Bureau works alongside the P&J Live team to attract conferences and exhibitions to the city.
P&J’s Live’s credentials as the eco-friendliest venue of its type in the UK, backed up by Aberdeen’s top 10 placing in a sustainable UK cities league, puts us in a strong position to secure more business events.
The north-east’s renaissance is also a cultural one.
From the glorious restoration of Aberdeen Art Gallery to the immersive art experience of the Fife Arms hotel in Braemar, the region has seen an upswell in the culture scene.
Aberdeen Art Gallery welcomed more than 10,000 visitors in its first week of reopening in November, demonstrating the curiosity of locals and the draw of the gallery’s impressive collection.
With more exhibitions to be announced soon, this jewel will continue to shine brightly and will be central in VisitAberdeenshire’s forthcoming spring marketing campaign.
We recognise the impact of these investments, but what do visitors think? Over the summer, our visitor survey uncovered fascinating insights from people who had holidayed in our part of Scotland.
From the results, 96% of respondents rated their overall experience as excellent or good and 87% said they would recommend visiting Aberdeenshire to friends and family.